One of the highlights from PCBC this year was the chance to talk with Gary Vaynerchuk before his keynote. New York Times bestselling author, sought after speaker, entrepreneur and future owner of the New York Jets. If you don’t know this guy, it’s time to come out of hibernation. Great interview, great insights and a bonus lightening round at the end. (see who his favorite Street Fighter character is)
Listen to the last question where he talks about work/life balance. Good stuff.
Learn more about Gary here: http://garyvaynerchuk.com/
Check out his books here: http://garyvaynerchuk.com/books/
Mike Lyon: Check it out, it’s Gary Vaynerchuk. How you doing, man?
Gary Vaynerchuk: Doing super well.
Mike Lyon: Okay. At PCBC, so nice, we had him twice. Two times in three years, that’s absolutely amazing. The room is huge; we’re excited to have you. So, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Tell us about that concept; that’s your presentation, that’s your new book. Tell us about that.
Gary Vaynerchuk: It’s the thought of if you look at what’s happening in the current state of social, there’re too many people trying to close on the first move, right? Every piece of content is “Buy my home, buy my wine, buy my agency.” Just too much selling.
And so, to me, what I’m trying to transition organizations, people, everybody really into is, listen, you’ve got to become a media company. And a media company writes articles, writes articles and then has an ad. Writes articles, write articles and then has an ad.
And to me, the thing that has converted the best for me as a salesman, remember, I’m not Mother Theresa. I’m doing this stuff under the context of business. Sure, it matters for education and world peace and all that. But this is business for me.
The best thing to work for me is give, give, give and then ask. And to me, I translate that into jab, jab, jab, right hook. The book is about the pieces of content and auditing 100 of them and showing people how to do it. But it ladders up to a thesis which is what I’m going to talk about today more than anything which is not theory, but being a practitioner.
There’s way too many people watching this right now that talk about being a social media expert or knowing social media. But aren’t in the depths, in the deep sea of knowing exactly what to do on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram to convert ROI. I’m getting more on that kick because I’ve come to realize people like to do a lot of talking and not as much executing.
Mike Lyon: Okay, so you talk about storytelling and things like that. We’ve got a conflict in our industry, the real estate industry, the home-building industry. The story most people care about is the community, not necessarily the company or where the home is. How do they tell that story?
Gary Vaynerchuk: About their brand?
Mike Lyon: Even not about the brand. Because the brand, while it matters, the customer cares about “Where’s that home? Where’s that community?”
Gary Vaynerchuk: I think it’s a double-edged sword because I think you’re right and you’re leading me, Mike, and I appreciate that. I famously say and I may say it this talk, somebody bought a home in Millburn, New Jersey because my library was there and when the real estate agent kind of understood that and the developer kind of understood it, they started marketing the town, the school system. And this is all stuff people have heard before.
But I do think, Mike, that there is some value in building up the brand of the developer or clearly, there’s a ton of value in building up if you’re a contractor or a plumber. It’s about tact.
Stephen Ross, related real estate, one of the biggest developers in the world, building an $18 billion project in Hudson Yards in Manhattan. You go ask 100 New Yorkers who’s building Hudson Yards, 97 are not going to be able to answer. The three that can answer, driving real business. Got it?
So, it’s not about width, it’s about depth.
Mike Lyon: That’s good. Okay, you ready for a lightning round?
Gary Vaynerchuk: Yeah, of course.
Mike Lyon: Favorite place to eat in San Francisco?
Gary Vaynerchuk: Favorite place to eat in San Francisco? Michael Minas.
Mike Lyon: Okay, very good. If you could take one person dead or alive to dinner there, who would it be?
Gary Vaynerchuk: It would be the combination of the three grandparents I never got to meet.
Mike Lyon: That’s awesome. Okay, good. Four weeks in to the NFL season, who’s starting? Geno Smith or…
Gary Vaynerchuk: Geno Smith.
Mike Lyon: Okay, we’ll take that. Favorite “Street Fighter” character?
Gary Vaynerchuk: Who’s the dude…?
Mike Lyon: Blanka?
Gary Vaynerchuk: I would just bite heads and go electric.
Mike Lyon: You’ve got two kids. Talk about work-life balance.
Gary Vaynerchuk: This could be a 45-minute video if I go deeply into it. It’s the only thing I struggle with, I would say, in the world. It’s hard to drive your ambition and your personal selfish wants with your selfish human empathy wants for the people that you’re raising who are your legacy.
I’ve gotten better at it, but here’s my one kind of tidbit. I’m excited. As a matter of fact, today’s Thursday, right? Thursday morning? Saturday starts a one-week vacation where I’m completely off the grid. August, two weeks off the grid.
I’m winning in extremism. I’m working my face off, 18 hours a day, barely seeing them. But I’m getting six, seven weeks vacation in now a year. And the weekends, I’m really checked out of work, which is a new phenomenon.
In the last 24 months, that’s given me more time for them, but I continue to hack. As good as that has made me feel for the last year, my main 2015 plan is to go home from 6:00 to 7:00, eat with them real quick. Maybe a bath, maybe a kiss. And then back out to meetings.
So, I just continue to try to be better. We’re all dealing with our own issues. We all have different variables in this category. This is a selfish, singular issue.
I can’t give you advice because you have a different partner, you have different kids, you have different circumstances. Financial levels, interests, wants. But I think we just try the best we can.
Mike Lyon: That’s good. Well, that wasn’t lightning, but that was delightful. Looking forward to the presentations. Thanks, Gary.
Gary Vaynerchuk: Thanks, brother.